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Learning in Equilibrium Models of Arbitration


  • Robert Gibbons


This paper analyzes strategic communication in equilibrium models of conventional and final-offer interest arbitration. Both models emphasize the role of learning by the arbitrator from the parties offers about the state of the employment relationship, which is known to the parties but not to the arbitrator. In both models, the arbitrators equilibrium behavior is identical to the reduced-form decision rule typically assumed in the empirical literature. The paper thereby provides a structural interpretation for the existing empirical work. The paper also represents progress towards a complete theory of arbitration because it satisfies three conditions that will be required of any such theory. First, the models predictions match the existing empirical evidence. Second, the models describe equilibrium behavior. And third, the models are built on a common set of assumptions about preferences, information, and commitment. The paper therefore not only provides an equilibrium foundation for the intuition that the arbitrator might learn from the parties offers, but also uses the idea of learning to develop a unified analytical treatment of the two major forms of interest arbitration.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert Gibbons, 1988. "Learning in Equilibrium Models of Arbitration," Working papers 485, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:485

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    3. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    4. Bloom, David E, 1986. "Empirical Models of Arbitrator Behavior under Conventional Arbitration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 578-585, November.
    5. Ehud Kalai & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1976. "Arbitration of Two-Party Disputes Under Ignorance," Discussion Papers 215, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    6. Vincent P. Crawford, 1982. "Compulsory Arbitration, Arbitral Risk and Negotiated Settlements: A Case Study in Bargaining under Imperfect Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 69-82.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marselli, Riccardo & McCannon, Bryan C. & Vannini, Marco, 2015. "Bargaining in the shadow of arbitration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 356-368.
    2. Juan Pablo Montero, 2004. "A model of arbitration in regulation," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 219, Econometric Society.
    3. Davis S. Kaplan & Joyce Sadka & Jorge Luis Silva-Mendez, 2006. "Litigation and Settlement: New Evidence from Labor Courts in Mexico," Working Papers 0606, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    4. Andersson, Thomas, 1990. "Government Failure: The Case of Global Environmental Mismanagement," Working Paper Series 287, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Martinelli, Cesar & Matsui, Akihiko, 2002. " Policy Reversals and Electoral Competition with Privately Informed Parties," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(1), pages 39-61.
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2007:i:12:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Klement, Alon & Neeman, Zvika, 2011. "Private Selection and Arbitration Neutrality," Working Paper Series 4074, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    8. Cesar Martinelli & Akihiko Matsui, 1999. "Policy Reversals: Electoral Competition with Privately Informed Parties," Working Papers 9905, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM, revised Jan 2000.
    9. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2003. "International agreements on product standard: an incomplete contracting theory," NBER Working Papers 9533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jeremy Bertomeu & Hamid Beladi, 2007. "Mediator learning and dowry determination in an arranged marriage setting," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(12), pages 1-10.
    11. Alexandre Mas, 2006. "Pay, Reference Points, and Police Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 783-821.
    12. Janet Currie, 1989. "Wages and Arbitrator Behavior," UCLA Economics Working Papers 562, UCLA Department of Economics.
    13. Hongbin Cai, 2009. "Costly participation and heterogeneous preferences in informational committees," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 173-189.
    14. María Mercedes Adamuz & Clara Ponsatí, 2009. "Arbitration systems and negotiations," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 13(3), pages 279-303, September.
    15. Juan-Pablo Montero, 2005. "A Model of Final Offer Arbitration in Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 23-46, July.
    16. Wojciech Olszewski, 2011. "A Welfare Analysis of Arbitration," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 174-213, February.
    17. Nathalie Chappe, 2001. "L'analyse économique d'un mode de résolution des litiges : l'arbitrage," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 15(4), pages 187-208.
    18. Batabyal, Amitrajeet & Beladi, Hamid, 2007. "Mediator learning and dowry determination in an arranged marriage setting," MPRA Paper 71982, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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